The challenges of Persian scientific publishing and our actions
Why is it necessary to move Persian-language scientific publications to comply with international publishing and indexing standards?
Iranian scientific and academic production, particularly in social sciences and humanities, suffers from various issues, such as the emergence of a big (illegal) market for buying and selling papers or the desire to publish an English paper to be recognized but stripped of any quality content or genuine contribution to scientific knowledge. Producing scientific content in Persian and having it indexed and cited explicitly compatible with the new digital standards faces significant challenges. For example, in the Persian language, scientific works are currently not adequately indexed in AI-powered scholarly search engines (such as Semantic Scholar) or are not cited. They are also not valuable for game-changer digital research tools like Inciteful, ResearchRabbit, and many other AI, search engines, and metadata-powered tools. They do not have objective validity and effect in the process of knowledge production in the international sense, because even if these works are prepared under the necessary standards and have abstracts, keywords, bibliography, and citations, they are in the Persian language and cannot be referred to by any of the standards. It is not measurable, it is not understood and analyzed by the mentioned modern technologies and systems, and thus they are irrelevant to other research in their field. As a result, among the multitude of non-Persian studies, Persian works do not find any place, and most importantly, no references to them are recorded, so the importance of this research in the body of existing knowledge will not be appropriately measured, respected, and recognized.
A non-Persian language researcher, for example, cannot be aware of scientific content produced in Persian, let alone refer to it or communicate with its author. The new actions of IAUP provide a platform for other researchers to be informed about the works of Persian-speaking professors and researchers, hoping that interaction and professional conversation between researchers will be possible in multilingual contexts. In the absence of the abovementioned contexts, many Persian-speaking scholars, especially those in the Diaspora, have gradually avoided writing in Persian and preferred to write in the dominant language. As a result, many Persian-speaking readers and researchers have been deprived or are unaware of the opportunity to interact with these works and their authors. We have been trying to think of practical ways to overcome this separation. Some of the measures taken in this regard by IAUP are as follows:
- To develop a “journal management system” compatible with the Google Scholar index and other global scientific search engines and databases.
- To improve the ability to access the original text of all articles and detect each article’s number of readings, downloads, and citations (impact) statistics.
- By bilingualizing journals (Persian, English) so that each article’s title, abstract, keywords, and bibliography are available and indexed in both languages.
- To address some of the significant difficulties of referencing in Persian by selecting the most consistent style (Chicago Notes and Bibliography) and adapting it to the need to publish a Persian scientific journal.
- To emphasize the translation and transliteration of the final bibliographies to facilitate the indexing and citation process of Persian-language works.
- To confirm the membership of IAUP’s academic publications in Crossref as the official digital identification registration agency of the International Digital Object Identifier System (DOI) and assign a unique DOI to any scientific work, including books, book chapters, articles, research data, and notes.
- To provide conditions for official approval of journals published by Iran Academia in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOIJ).
We hope that these efforts will incentivize Iranian academics, thinkers, and researchers to share their knowledge with the Persian-speaking audience and scientific community by producing content in Persian being ensuring that their valuable works will be recognized adequately. If they find our initiatives worthwhile, we hope that other stakeholders will also follow up and expand on them and facilitate the creation of credible academic environments in which Persian-speaking academics may engage with non-Persian-speaking scholars.